Tucked away and up the hill from the town of St. Ives, you'll find The Leach Pottery, founded in 1920 by Bernard Leach and Shoji Hamada. The museum, gallery and studio space celebrate the life and work of Leach as well as showcasing the work of UK and international contemporary potters.
By this to me a miracle, I was carried away to a new world. Enthralled, I was on the spot seized with the desire to take up the craft.
In 1911, Bernard Leach attended a Raku party, where he became enchanted with the process of firing. Leach went on to learn the techniques of firing methods, throwing and brushwork decoration.
In 1916, he met Japanese potter Shoji Hamada at an exhibition and in 1920, Leach and Hamada moved to Cornwall to set up their new pottery enterprise in the outskirts of St. Ives. In the following years Leach refined his practice; combining elements of Chinese, Japanese and Korean pottery, alongside traditional European techniques such as slipware and salt glaze.
We explored the softly-lit workshop, delighting in finding examples of Leach's work amongst the potter's wheels and drying racks, soft and worn through decades of use. Against a backdrop of roughly plastered walls, pieces of pottery advance from the shadows. Old tools were laid out along a work bench in front of a window, as if just set down. The workshop houses the traditional Japanese climbing kiln or 'noborigama', built in 1923 and the first of it's kind in the West.
Huge thanks to The Leach Pottery, who gifted us admission to the museum, gallery and studio. As always, views expressed are entirely my own and I would thoroughly recommend visiting this beautiful space.
The Leach Pottery have generously offered Weald readers the chance to win a pair of beautiful Leach Standard Ware mugs. To win, follow the instructions below. The giveaway is open worldwide and closes on 17th August 2015 when a winner will be chosen at random. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
The Leach Pottery website
Opening hours, admission prices and location